New Enforcement Requirements: Immunization Attendance Policy District law and regulations require schools to verify immunization certification for all students as part of attendance. Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, all schools will be required to enforce the Immunization Attendance Policy, including notifying and potentially removing non-compliant students from school after a period of 20 school days until they have obtained the required immunizations and provided documentation to the school. In order to prepare schools and families for next school year, we request your assistance with communicating immunization requirements to all families now and throughout spring 2020 to give families as much time as possible to make appointments with their health care providers and receive their immunizations before next school year.
OSSE's website has resources, training, and information available for schools and families to support the implementation of the Immunization Attendance Policy in the 2020-21 school year. For questions about the Immunization Attendance Policy, please contact OSSE.SchoolHealth@dc.gov. For questions about immunization information, data, and locations where families can receive immunizations, schools can contact DC Health at SHS.Program@dc.gov.
Health Education Enhancement Cohort
OSSE’s Division of Health of Wellness is working with schools throughout the spring to enhance the quality of health education programs. We will be convening a cohort of K-12 schools to participate in a series of health education initiatives that build capacity in schools. Participants will have the opportunity to receive the following support from OSSE:
Professional Development and Training (with an emphasis on sexual health and alcohol, tobacco and other drugs);
Standards Aligned Curriculum Selection and Implementation Support; and
Partnership Support and Access to Communities of Practice.
Health and wellness teachers and staff are encouraged to participate. The cohort begins March 2020 and ends spring 2021. To sign up to participate in this cohort, please complete this form by Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 5 p.m.
Coronavirus: Information for LEAs(reminder)
The District of Columbia Department of Health (DC Health) is closely monitoring the new virus that causes respiratory illness in people, known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). DC Health has released a letter for LEAs encouraging schools to follow routine sickness policies, including removing children who have had a fever for 24 hours. Additionally, while it is not directly related, schools are encouraged to remind families that the flu shot can help prevent illness during this time of year. Schools and families can learn more information about this virus from the DC Health coronavirus factsheet or by visiting the DC Health coronavirus webpage. Translated versions of the factsheet are also available.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the risk to the American public remains low at this time, DC Health is making sure the District is prepared in the event a local case is identified. In order to ensure the healthcare community is prepared and fully informed, DC Health is providing guidance on the virus to healthcare providers via Health Notices. DC Health will continue to actively monitor the situation and will update local education agencies if anything changes.
DC Breastfeeding Coalition: Call for Teacher Input(reminder)
The DC Breastfeeding Coalition is requesting assistance from Washington, DC teachers to help create an innovative breastfeeding curriculum for grades K through 12. Research shows breastfeeding is an activity that offers tremendous benefits, contributing to the health and wellness of infants, mothers, communities and the environment, but it is rarely discussed with children. Attitudes about infant feeding are shaped in youth, and this curriculum will help school-age children form positive attitudes toward breastfeeding, desensitize the subject, and normalize the practice. The coalition is hoping to develop a curriculum that becomes a national model and is seeking input from teachers serving grades pre-K-5 and grades 6-12.
Participating teachers will help prioritize the content to be included, determine the optimal format, and ensure that the curriculum aligns with grade-appropriate DC learning standards. The group will meet three to four times beginning in spring 2020. To volunteer, please contact Dr. Mary Revenis at MRevenis@childrensnational.org.
Serve as an Ally Partner to Students Experiencing Homelessness(reminder)
In an effort to expand awareness and support for youth and families experiencing homelessness in the District of Columbia, OSSE’s Homeless Education Program has established the Ally Partner Program. Through the program, interested LEAs, community-based organizations and DC agencies assisting families and youth experiencing transitions in housing will receive training on how to become a trusted point of contact for students experiencing homelessness. Allies are adults who identify themselves as individuals to whom students can go for help, without worrying about stigma or embarrassment. This is the second year of the program awareness model to recruit other caring adults to serve in this important role. Once allies are trained and certified, they will receive a choice of Ally Partner buttons, posters, stickers, and resource packets to assist LEAs and their liaisons.
Support Early Childhood Educator Wellness in DC(reminder)
Georgetown University's Early Childhood Innovation Network's Preschool Development Grant Team is calling on all Washington, DC infant, toddler and preschool teachers and classroom staff to share your experiences in the District and gain information to share with policymakers and programming officials. By sharing your stories, you are helping to inform health and wellness programs and policies in Washington, DC schools. If you are interested in taking the survey, please complete the survey by Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. The results will be used to inform health and wellness programs and policies in District schools and facilities.
Stay Informed of OSSE Professional Development Opportunities for Educators
OSSE's Division of Teaching and Learning provides a robust menu of professional development opportunities that are free to educators and staff in DC public charter schools. Here are ways to stay informed of upcoming events and resources: 1) view the February 2020 Teaching and Learning PD Bulletin and subscribe today to receive the monthly newsletter 2) register for trainings and see what’s coming up on the calendar by visiting OSSE's events calendar, and 3) preview course offerings for January to April 2020 in the 2020 Professional Development Catalog.
Upcoming Teaching and Learning Professional Development Trainings
Systems for Building Teachers’ Emotional Intelligence: Register Today for the March CoP(reminder)
OSSE is pleased to open registration for the March session of the Talent as a Lever of Equity Community of Practice (CoP) series: Systems for Building Teachers’ Emotional Intelligence: Action Research and Application.
The CoP will take place on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at OSSE, First Floor, Eleanor Holmes Norton II/III, Rooms 109/110. It is intended for staff who lead and/or manage supports for teachers at the LEA or school level, staff who coach or mentor teachers, or staff at other education organizations focused on new teachers and/or emotional intelligence. Participants do not need to have attended previous CoP sessions to register. Register - registration is due by Tuesday, Feb. 18. For questions, please contact Rose Goff at Rose.Goff@dc.gov.
Youth Mental Health First Aid Workshop(reminder)
Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an eight-hour public education program that introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.
The course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder.
This two-day workshop will take place on Thursday, March 12, 2020 and Friday, March 13, 2020, from 1-5 p.m. at OSSE, First Floor, Eleanor Holmes Norton II Room 109. Register - attendees can receive six social work or counseling continuing education units and must attend both days to receive credit for this training.
Training for Mandated Reporters (reminder)
OSSE's Division of Systems and Supports, K-12, in collaboration with the DC Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), will host a mandated reporter training on Thursday, April 30, 2020. Mandated reporters are professionals obligated by the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and DC law to report known or suspected incidents of child abuse and neglect. In DC, mandated reporters who should be trained include school officials, teachers, athletic coaches, counselors, social service workers, and other direct care professionals. This training is for new mandated reporters and also serves as a refresher course for previously identified mandated reporters.
The training will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2020, 1-4 p.m. at OSSE, First Floor, Eleanor Holmes Norton III, Room 110. Register
For more information or questions, please contact OSSE's Special Programs Unit at OSSE.SPU@dc.gov.
LEA Financial Reporting Application Released – Submissions due March 5 (reminder)
In April 2020, the DC School Report Card website will be updated to include per-pupil financial expenditure data for each school and LEA for the 2018-19 school year. All LEAs are required to submit financial expenditure data on the LEA Financial Reporting application. LEAs will have until Thursday, March 5, 2020 to submit financial expenditure data through the application. Additional resources and instructions regarding this financial expenditure data submission requirement can be found on the Grants & Funding section on OSSE's website.
The application is available to the following LEA staff: Head of School, LEA Data Manager, Chief Financial Officer, and LEA Finance/Grants Manager. If you would like additional staff to have access to the application, they will need to be assigned one of those roles in eSchoolPLUS. For questions or to request access to the application, please contact Ryan Aurori at Ryan.Aurori@dc.gov.
2020-21 School Year Grant Forecast(reminder)
OSSE is pleased to share the 2020-21 School Year Grant Forecast, a tool to help LEAs plan their budgets for the school year. This tool lists most of the formula and competitive grants that OSSE expects to release in the coming months. LEAs can use this tool to anticipate what grant opportunities will be available for the upcoming school year and inform budget development and strategic planning.
The forecast tool lists upcoming grant opportunities and includes anticipated application release and award dates, as well as anticipated funding amounts. It is important to note, however, that the information included in the forecast is subject to change. This forecast tool is not an official notice of availability and is only for planning purposes. Grant releases and awards are subject to funding availability and could change based on the fiscal year 2021 budget and any applicable legislation. LEAs will need to apply for grants in order to be considered for an award.
OSSE will provide regular updates to the grant forecast tool to provide LEAs with the most current information about our planned grant offerings. For questions or feedback regarding this forecast tool, please email OSSE.Grants@dc.gov.